Matching Tek Blue Paint


 

Over the weekend, as part of my effort to restore my recently acquired 533A and scope-moble cart, I did some research on matching Tek Blue paint: first by searching Google and the TekScopes archives (which came up with some contradictory results), then by poking around in the Pantone color app on my phone, getting a list of candidate Pantone colors, averaging the sRGB and Hex values, and feeding those back into the Pantone web site for matching Pantone colors, and finally by taking the protective cover from a Sony/Tek 308 down to Home Depot and select paint sample chips that seemed to be a close match.

I have put pictures off what I found in the album entitled Tek Blue Paint Matching https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/album?id=264429

The averages I came up with are as follows:

L*a*b: 36-9-9
sRGB: 57-91-98
Hex: 3A5B62
Pantone code: 19-4711

and the colors that the Pantone web site returned as matches for the sRGB and Hex averages were:

7545 C
5477 C
4188 C
4167 C
2215 C

(I have no idea what either kind of Pantone color code means, how to decode them, nor whether they are somehow related)

Before I used the Sony/Tek 308 front cover as my reference I compared it against the painted cases of the following instruments: 7603, 475, 2465, 2252, TM506, 533A, and a 500/53A scope-mobile cart. It was a close match to all of them. The vinyl accessory pouches of the Sony/Tek 308 and the 2465 were a little lighter, but I'm not trying to match the color of the vinyl pouches, and the pouches don't match the painted aluminum anyway, so I'm not going to sweat that detail (just as I didn't try to match the color of the various printed manual covers, which vary considerably with age).

My search of the TekScopes archive turned up two messages with apparently useful (if contradictory) information: #18587 from 2006, and #76397 from 2012:

nj902
2006-03-13   #18587  

I have used the paint that Tek supplies to refurbish several items
including TM500 frames. Tek charges more than a garden variety can of
spray paint costs, but it is a high quality product that produces a
nice finish.

I just checked with them and it is still available. Here is their reply:

The part number 252-0092-02 (16 OZ AROSOL CAN, OPEX CUSTOM PRODUCTION
LACQUER BLUE L99XXL42, MSDS01621300, SHERWIN-WILLIAMS) is $20.00 MSRP
each and is currently in stock. If not in stock at the time that you
order, it will have a 5 week lead time.

The part number 252-0217-03 (PAINT; SHWEWIN-WILLIAMS,OEPX L61
PRODUCTION LACQUER,L61XX NON-LEAD CUSTOM COLOR L99XXA85,16 OZ
AEROSOL,TEX TV GRAY)is $14.00 MSRP each and is currently in stock. If
not in stock at the time that you order, it will have a 3 week lead time.

To place an order, please call 1-800-833-9200, option 1 for Sales. You
will need to speak with them as this is considered hazardous material
and needs special shipping arangements.

All pricing and availability is subject to change without notice.

EFFECTIVE MAY 30, 2005, TEKTRONIX WILL HAVE A $30.00 MINIMUM ORDER REQUIREMENT
and,

Reed Dickinson
2012-05-30   #76397  

I had a local paint store prepare a gallon of paint that matched the Tektronix blue color so closely that one could not > tell the difference between the new and old.  I do not completely understand the nomenclature but here is the formula:

Black                 B     4Y22
Yellow oxide      C    33
Green                D    1Y29
White                W    1Y32
Blue                  E      1Y45
Base                          7-916

The dealer indicated that Y=ounces so 4Y=4 ounces.  Also, 48 points=1 ounce

If anyone can shed more light on this formula I would like to know about it.

Reed Dickinson
My google search turned up a thread on EEVblog (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/tektronix-cabinet-paint/) that had two images (also in the album noted above) showing a Tek Blue lacquer (L61 OPEX LACQUER, L61XXL42, TEK BLUE) with reorder code and phone number (PORTLAND COMMERCIAL #4383, (503) 248-0222, allegedly to Sherwin Williams), and a modern Krylon color that is allegedly a good match (Krylon COLORMAXX paint+primer Gloss Bahama Sea).

-- Jeff Dutky


Tom Lee
 

Hi Jeff,

Just to add to your collection of data, a post by John Williams last year gives the information found on the cans of Tek paint sold by the late Stan Griffiths:

Opex L61 Lacquer
L61XXXL42-4383
Tek Blue
05/05/2011
Portland Commercial #4383
To reorder (503) 249-0222

I have not tried contacting them to see if they still supply the stuff, but another TekScopes post said that the minimum order was 24 cans. That would allow you to paint your car Tek blue!

-- Cheers,
Tom

--
Prof. Thomas H. Lee
Allen Ctr., Rm. 205
350 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4070
http://www-smirc.stanford.edu

On 5/24/2021 11:29, Jeff Dutky wrote:
Over the weekend, as part of my effort to restore my recently acquired 533A and scope-moble cart, I did some research on matching Tek Blue paint: first by searching Google and the TekScopes archives (which came up with some contradictory results), then by poking around in the Pantone color app on my phone, getting a list of candidate Pantone colors, averaging the sRGB and Hex values, and feeding those back into the Pantone web site for matching Pantone colors, and finally by taking the protective cover from a Sony/Tek 308 down to Home Depot and select paint sample chips that seemed to be a close match.

I have put pictures off what I found in the album entitled Tek Blue Paint Matching https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/album?id=264429

The averages I came up with are as follows:

L*a*b: 36-9-9
sRGB: 57-91-98
Hex: 3A5B62
Pantone code: 19-4711

and the colors that the Pantone web site returned as matches for the sRGB and Hex averages were:

7545 C
5477 C
4188 C
4167 C
2215 C

(I have no idea what either kind of Pantone color code means, how to decode them, nor whether they are somehow related)

Before I used the Sony/Tek 308 front cover as my reference I compared it against the painted cases of the following instruments: 7603, 475, 2465, 2252, TM506, 533A, and a 500/53A scope-mobile cart. It was a close match to all of them. The vinyl accessory pouches of the Sony/Tek 308 and the 2465 were a little lighter, but I'm not trying to match the color of the vinyl pouches, and the pouches don't match the painted aluminum anyway, so I'm not going to sweat that detail (just as I didn't try to match the color of the various printed manual covers, which vary considerably with age).

My search of the TekScopes archive turned up two messages with apparently useful (if contradictory) information: #18587 from 2006, and #76397 from 2012:

nj902
2006-03-13   #18587

I have used the paint that Tek supplies to refurbish several items
including TM500 frames. Tek charges more than a garden variety can of
spray paint costs, but it is a high quality product that produces a
nice finish.

I just checked with them and it is still available. Here is their reply:

The part number 252-0092-02 (16 OZ AROSOL CAN, OPEX CUSTOM PRODUCTION
LACQUER BLUE L99XXL42, MSDS01621300, SHERWIN-WILLIAMS) is $20.00 MSRP
each and is currently in stock. If not in stock at the time that you
order, it will have a 5 week lead time.

The part number 252-0217-03 (PAINT; SHWEWIN-WILLIAMS,OEPX L61
PRODUCTION LACQUER,L61XX NON-LEAD CUSTOM COLOR L99XXA85,16 OZ
AEROSOL,TEX TV GRAY)is $14.00 MSRP each and is currently in stock. If
not in stock at the time that you order, it will have a 3 week lead time.

To place an order, please call 1-800-833-9200, option 1 for Sales. You
will need to speak with them as this is considered hazardous material
and needs special shipping arangements.

All pricing and availability is subject to change without notice.

EFFECTIVE MAY 30, 2005, TEKTRONIX WILL HAVE A $30.00 MINIMUM ORDER REQUIREMENT
and,

Reed Dickinson
2012-05-30   #76397

I had a local paint store prepare a gallon of paint that matched the Tektronix blue color so closely that one could not > tell the difference between the new and old.  I do not completely understand the nomenclature but here is the formula:

Black                 B     4Y22
Yellow oxide      C    33
Green                D    1Y29
White                W    1Y32
Blue                  E      1Y45
Base                          7-916

The dealer indicated that Y=ounces so 4Y=4 ounces.  Also, 48 points=1 ounce

If anyone can shed more light on this formula I would like to know about it.

Reed Dickinson
My google search turned up a thread on EEVblog (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/tektronix-cabinet-paint/) that had two images (also in the album noted above) showing a Tek Blue lacquer (L61 OPEX LACQUER, L61XXL42, TEK BLUE) with reorder code and phone number (PORTLAND COMMERCIAL #4383, (503) 248-0222, allegedly to Sherwin Williams), and a modern Krylon color that is allegedly a good match (Krylon COLORMAXX paint+primer Gloss Bahama Sea).

-- Jeff Dutky




 

24 cans!?! I drive a Mini Cooper, I could paint a couple of them!

If shipping this stuff weren't a pain in the ass I would say that we should do a group buy.

Any idea what the 05/05/2011 means? I've found an image of one of these cans of paint that has 5/14/04 marked on it (the other information matches what you provided). I assumed that that was a batch date, but it's ambiguous.

-- Jeff Dutky


Tom Lee
 

Hi Jeff,

I also assume that it is a batch date. I just looked at the two cans I have, and there's no such information on those particular samples.

-- Cheers,
Tom

--
Prof. Thomas H. Lee
Allen Ctr., Rm. 205
350 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4070
http://www-smirc.stanford.edu

On 5/24/2021 12:33, Jeff Dutky wrote:
24 cans!?! I drive a Mini Cooper, I could paint a couple of them!

If shipping this stuff weren't a pain in the ass I would say that we should do a group buy.

Any idea what the 05/05/2011 means? I've found an image of one of these cans of paint that has 5/14/04 marked on it (the other information matches what you provided). I assumed that that was a batch date, but it's ambiguous.

-- Jeff Dutky




Ed Breya
 

I'd be wary of any aerosol spray cans that are very old. The propellant tends to leak out over the years. The way to test it is to spray some out, but then once that's done, it's likely to leak faster, or get plugged up from residual paint. I've had cans that were just fine after twenty years or more, even though some had been used, and also some that were virtually "brand new" and never used, but were duds after only a few years. You never know. I think the best approach is to just find out when you have a project to use it on, but don't be too surprised if it doesn't work so well.

Ed


Bert Haskins
 

On 5/24/2021 3:48 PM, Tom Lee wrote:
Hi Jeff,

I also assume that it is a batch date. I just looked at the two cans I have, and there's no such information on those particular samples.

-- Cheers,
Tom
I used this ( Krylon® ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer, Gloss, Bahama Sea, 340g ) on a case for a 2235 and it turned out pretty good.

Not a exact match thou.


 

I'm going to go by a Sherwin Williams store and see what they can offer me to match the 308 front cover (the most portable sample of Tek Blue that I have to hand).

What I'd really like is to be able to mix my own in an appropriate lacquer base, and then apply it with an airbrush, but if I can find something off-the-shelf that works (as the samples from Behr and Glidden appear to) I'll be satisfied with that.

I need to do more research on what kinds of paints (as in binder chemistry) are available, and what would be closest to / most appropriate to replace the original Tek paint.

-- Jeff Dutky


Keith
 

Hi Ed,
Remember that if a can of some rare color lacquer loses propellant, don’t automatically toss it out. You can always puncture the can and recover the paint into a 1/2 pint paint can. You can then shoot this paint from any standard airbrush or touch up gun. I’ve done it many times...it works fine. Lacquer keeps for decades with no problem in rattle cans...even “dead” rattle cans.

And, Just to be clear, even cheap imported airbrushes and touch up guns from the HF store shoot far better than any rattle can.

Cheers!
Keith
CBG


Jean-Paul
 

Bonjour, Color matching is an art as well as a science. Adobe took many of its top scientists to a week long seminar on color!

The industry standard is Pantone,

https://www.pantone.com/color-finder

A consumer paint store has matching errors depending on the technician, equipment, stock of paint, etc.

Base Material being painted will affect the final dry color.

Perhaps one of our Tek veterans can inform us of the origin of the color?

I wonder if TEK has copyrighted or trademarked this color ?

Bon Chance,

Jon


kim.herron@sbcglobal.net
 

Hi Jeff!

I'm pretty sure that the original paint was a lacquer. I say
that because it drys quick and can be fixed without a
complete strip and repaint. That's exactly what
manufacturers look for when they come up with a
process. Sherwin Williams makes all the paint used by
Steelcase on any painted steel furniture that come out of
Grand Rapids MI. They mix it in 55 Gal Drums. You can
get that same Opex Lacquer in a pint can or one spray
can. You just have to get it from Steelcase.

On 24 May 2021 at 14:22, Jeff Dutky wrote:

I'm going to go by a Sherwin Williams store and see what they can
offer me to match the 308 front cover (the most portable sample of
Tek Blue that I have to hand).

What I'd really like is to be able to mix my own in an appropriate
lacquer base, and then apply it with an airbrush, but if I can find
something off-the-shelf that works (as the samples from Behr and
Glidden appear to) I'll be satisfied with that.

I need to do more research on what kinds of paints (as in binder
chemistry) are available, and what would be closest to / most
appropriate to replace the original Tek paint.

-- Jeff Dutky




Kim Herron W8ZV
kim.herron@sbcglobal.net
1-616-677-3706



--
Kim Herron
W8ZV
kim dot herron at sbcglobal dot net


Keith
 

Gee, I thought I solved this TEK color dilemma for you guys once already. :-)

So, once again, here is a link to the correct TEK color - all ready to purchase in your preferred professional paint format. That would be enamel, lacquer, BC/CC urethane, even low VOC urethane for you California guys and gals. Get it by the quart or by the gallon. TCP Global has it in their "appliance/Military" catalogue.

https://www.autocolorlibrary.com/search?q=tek+blue+-tag%3Aoptions

$109.00 a quart in enamel, $119.00 in single stage catalyzed urethane, and $159.00 in lacquer, I believe. Of course you still have to buy thinners/reducers - and catalysts if you go SS or BC/CC. Also, you'll need a bit of flatting agent as well.

For free, here are Keith the painter's tips and suggestions. Note that this is not rocket science, but it does require some tools, a space, and a reasonable amount of skill.

a.) For my money, the lacquer is the best choice for this application if you want fast dry times, a thin film, good adhesion and probably overall a more authentic look.
b.) SS urethane is far more durable, but requires more effort and supplies. It can also poison you fairly dramatically, and it will run the risk of excessive finish film build, too.
c.) The Enamel is just ok, and only if you can control your dust and (like SS urethane) you don't mind blurring out the factory alligator/crackle look a little.

Finish thickness matters because the surface you're painting has an unique texture. As I recall, someone provided excellent information in another thread about the TEK surface texture process that gives the gear that unique TEK look. For my money, that's why I would shoot lacquer as a topcoat. It will be the thinnest finish, and will not so easily fill in and obliterate the factory crackle look - something that enamel might do.

SHEEN: Whatever you shoot, remember you will need a little flatting agent additive, too. TEK gear was not glossy when new. Or, you might cheat and post-treat it when really cured by washing down with 10% sodium hydroxide. That would probably take the sheen off without the cost of flatting agent...or it might ruin it and make you shoot again. :-/

PREP: Finally, I would make SURE my piece was as clean as possible. Most people do not understand "clean" as it relates to painting what amounts to an appliance grade finish.

1. Use an aggressive cleaner and soft bristle brush to really eliminate the funk that has settled down in that texture pattern - clean clean clean! This is very important for adhesion and for pattern preservation. (If your wife will let you and the part will fit, a dishwasher does a pretty good job at stage 1 cleaning too.)
2. I know this sounds obvious, but you must clean BOTH sides of the part! The dust and dirt from the backside is very likely to migrate up and ruin the top side.
3. Again, obvious - but remove mounting screws, Dzus fasterners, handles, etc.
4. Besides a solvent wash and an aggressive cleaner like Purple to get rid of grease and funk, I would follow up with a strong caustic flatting treatment like Sodium Hydroxide or some other adhesion promoter to take off the sheen off the substrate without damaging the factory surface pattern.
5. DO NOT SAND THESE PANELS - you will ruin the alligator/crinkle/leatherette whatever it is called surface pattern.
6. And, besides a clean paint gun or airbrush, you need a clean and dry air supply, and a clean, dust free shooting area with proper airflow...and don't forget to tack-cloth right before you shoot.

OK way over the top, but it will look good.

Cheers,

Keith
cbg


Vince Vielhaber
 

If you search the archives for "Tektronix Blue paint" and "Tek Blue Paint" you'll find posts by Reed, Roy, John and Bob that have all the numbers and corrections for the paint. Then under "Tek Blue paint source" you'll find more from Jerry and Paul. One of the message numbers is 169202.

The only reason I'm not posting more info, or the recipes, is I don't know which one is right. I've been saving them off in a general tek folder for a few years. These were from last year, 2017 and 2018.

Vince.

On 05/25/2021 09:37 AM, kim.herron@sbcglobal.net wrote:
Hi Jeff!

I'm pretty sure that the original paint was a lacquer. I say
that because it drys quick and can be fixed without a
complete strip and repaint. That's exactly what
manufacturers look for when they come up with a
process. Sherwin Williams makes all the paint used by
Steelcase on any painted steel furniture that come out of
Grand Rapids MI. They mix it in 55 Gal Drums. You can
get that same Opex Lacquer in a pint can or one spray
can. You just have to get it from Steelcase.

On 24 May 2021 at 14:22, Jeff Dutky wrote:

I'm going to go by a Sherwin Williams store and see what they can
offer me to match the 308 front cover (the most portable sample of
Tek Blue that I have to hand).

What I'd really like is to be able to mix my own in an appropriate
lacquer base, and then apply it with an airbrush, but if I can find
something off-the-shelf that works (as the samples from Behr and
Glidden appear to) I'll be satisfied with that.

I need to do more research on what kinds of paints (as in binder
chemistry) are available, and what would be closest to / most
appropriate to replace the original Tek paint.

-- Jeff Dutky




Kim Herron W8ZV
kim.herron@sbcglobal.net
1-616-677-3706



kim.herron@sbcglobal.net
 

I don't want to sound trite, but the formula that Stan had
from S/W had all that work done, didn't require matching,
playing with flattener, etc. Sherwin Williams put all that
info into the formula. Don't need any catalysts, etc. It's
the simplest fix. Cheapest too.

On 25 May 2021 at 7:12, Keith wrote:

Gee, I thought I solved this TEK color dilemma for you guys once
already. :-)

So, once again, here is a link to the correct TEK color - all ready
to purchase in your preferred professional paint format. That would
be enamel, lacquer, BC/CC urethane, even low VOC urethane for you
California guys and gals. Get it by the quart or by the gallon. TCP
Global has it in their "appliance/Military" catalogue.

https://www.autocolorlibrary.com/search?q=tek+blue+-tag%3Aoptions

$109.00 a quart in enamel, $119.00 in single stage catalyzed
urethane, and $159.00 in lacquer, I believe. Of course you still
have to buy thinners/reducers - and catalysts if you go SS or BC/CC.
Also, you'll need a bit of flatting agent as well.

For free, here are Keith the painter's tips and suggestions. Note
that this is not rocket science, but it does require some tools, a
space, and a reasonable amount of skill.

a.) For my money, the lacquer is the best choice for this
application if you want fast dry times, a thin film, good adhesion
and probably overall a more authentic look.
b.) SS urethane is far more durable, but requires more effort and
supplies It can also poison you fairly dramatically, and it will run
the risk of excessive finish film build, too.
c.) The Enamel is just ok, and only if you can control your dust and
(like SS urethane) you don't mind blurring out the factory
alligator/crackle look a little.

Finish thickness matters because the surface you're painting has an
unique texture. As I recall, someone provided excellent information
in another thread about the TEK surface texture process that gives
the gear that unique TEK look. For my money, that's why I would
shoot lacquer as a topcoat. It will be the thinnest finish, and will
not so easily fill in and obliterate the factory crackle look -
something that enamel might do.

SHEEN: Whatever you shoot, remember you will need a little flatting
agent additive, too. TEK gear was not glossy when new. Or, you might
cheat and post-treat it when really cured by washing down with 10%
sodium hydroxide. That would probably take the sheen off without the
cost of flatting agent...or it might ruin it and make you shoot
again. :-/

PREP: Finally, I would make SURE my piece was as clean as possible.
Most people do not understand "clean" as it relates to painting what
amounts to an appliance grade finish.

1. Use an aggressive cleaner and soft bristle brush to really
eliminate the funk that has settled down in that texture pattern -
clean clean clean! This is very important for adhesion and for
pattern preservation. (If your wife will let you and the part will
fit, a dishwasher does a pretty good job at stage 1 cleaning too.)
2. I know this sounds obvious, but you must clean BOTH sides of the
part! The dust and dirt from the backside is very likely to migrate
up and ruin the top side.
3. Again, obvious - but remove mounting screws, Dzus fasterners,
handles, etc.
4. Besides a solvent wash and an aggressive cleaner like Purple to
get rid of grease and funk, I would follow up with a strong caustic
flatting treatment like Sodium Hydroxide or some other adhesion
promoter to take off the sheen off the substrate without damaging
the factory surface pattern.
5. DO NOT SAND THESE PANELS - you will ruin the
alligator/crinkle/leatherette whatever it is called surface pattern.
6. And, besides a clean paint gun or airbrush, you need a clean and
dry air supply, and a clean, dust free shooting area with proper
airflow...and don't forget to tack-cloth right before you shoot.

OK way over the top, but it will look good.

Cheers,

Keith
cbg





Kim Herron W8ZV
kim.herron@sbcglobal.net
1-616-677-3706



--
Kim Herron
W8ZV
kim dot herron at sbcglobal dot net


Keith
 

Hi Kim,

Yeah, not trite at all, and definitely no offense taken on this end. :-) Thankful for everyone's work to keep this color available. More than one route to a good result for sure.

I only commented about the TCP product and color reference because I'm someone who has done quite a lot of lacquer painting over the years. I can tell you that this entire topic is a moving target. For example, getting Stan's formula at "Sherwin Williams" may or may not be practical in 2021. I hope it is still good, but I commented because in a painter's world it's always good to have options. A lot has changed since 2011 in the lacquer paint world thanks to EPA VOC limitations.

Examples;

a.) If a guy lives in Bug Tussle Mississippi or Moose Ear Minnesota, he probably doesn't have a competent Sherwin Williams store right down the street. For those folks, it sure is handy to go to a website, click a couple of buttons and have a quart of exactly the right stuff show up at your door a couple of days later, without fussing and trips to the paint store.

b.) Generically calling any old Sherwin Williams (non automotive) paint store and asking for an 11 year old formula in lacquer is a longshot, at least where I live. And if you get it, be aware that from a non-automotive coatings S/W store, that's going to be nitrocellulose lacquer - if you can get it. I could be wrong, but it may be an exercise in frustration to get Stan's formula at S/W these days. Maybe not...YMMV.

c.) Speaking of "getting lacquer", I was just at a very large brand name commercial coatings distributor just two days ago. The had literally tens of thousands of gallons of various tint bases in the house. At my request, they were searching up lacquer tint bases for a custom color I needed mixed in lacquer. This is a store where I've bought gallons and gallons of lacquer in the past. Two days ago, there were exactly three gallons of lacquer tint base in the entire facility, none of which was the correct base and sheen for my application! And I live in a state with very relaxed EPA enforcement for VOC.

d.) Flatting - Again, good point, but now that I think of it, the TCP-Global formula probably has the correct flatting agent as well. Good catch there! I mention flatting agent and Sodium Hydroxide wash since so few people who are non painters even know such a thing exists...or that there are other ways to reduce sheen.

e.) cheaper - well again, it depends on the situation. Yes, you're right... one man or woman painting one set of 547 covers probably gets by just fine and pretty cheaply with a spray bomb. Another man or woman with five or ten TEK cover sets to paint gets much better results with a professional gun and a quart of appliance lacquer from TCP (or wherever.) Just be aware that one quart of paint makes 2.5 quarts of sprayable, which works out to about $80-85 a quart including thinner. I'd guess one could paint eight to ten cover sets with an HVLP gun and a quart of sprayable. Too bad they don't sell pints or even half pints. Local automotive coatings store often do, so that's a way to save a little, if they can cross the Stan's Sherwin Williams' formula.

f.) Not all lacquers are the same. The TCP product will be acrylic lacquer, not residential (typically nitrocellulose) lacquer. Non-automotive sourced lacquers from places like Sherwin Williams, PPG Pittsburgh commercial coatings outlets are nitrocellulose lacquers. So, both are lacquers in name, but acrylic is vastly more durable than nitro. Important to compare apples to apples there.

g.) results. I promise you my $500.00 DeVilbiss HVLP gun will outshoot any $20 spray can ever invented. :-) When you have one shot to get it right, that is a comfort to me as the guy putting down the finish.

For painters, a lot depends on the relationship with their local coatings vendor. But whether Sherwin Williams, or PPG/Pittsburgh, DuPont, or any other coatings mfg., I can tell you that lacquer is becoming a bit of a dying art, and the demand is drying up for the product. :-)

Cheers to you!

Keith


Tom Lee
 

Not trite at all! Every request here triggers an avalanche of replies, so the SNR is sometimes lower than one might like. I’m with you — Stan already solved the problem years ago, so if that solution remains viable, the need to solve it again would seem to be low. To my untrained eye, Stan’s stuff is an excellent match to the original Tek paint.

—Tom

Sent from my iThing, so please forgive typos and brevity.

On May 25, 2021, at 2:29 PM, kim.herron@sbcglobal.net wrote:

I don't want to sound trite, but the formula that Stan had
from S/W had all that work done, didn't require matching,
playing with flattener, etc. Sherwin Williams put all that
info into the formula. Don't need any catalysts, etc. It's
the simplest fix. Cheapest too.

On 25 May 2021 at 7:12, Keith wrote:

Gee, I thought I solved this TEK color dilemma for you guys once
already. :-)

So, once again, here is a link to the correct TEK color - all ready
to purchase in your preferred professional paint format. That would
be enamel, lacquer, BC/CC urethane, even low VOC urethane for you
California guys and gals. Get it by the quart or by the gallon. TCP
Global has it in their "appliance/Military" catalogue.

https://www.autocolorlibrary.com/search?q=tek+blue+-tag%3Aoptions

$109.00 a quart in enamel, $119.00 in single stage catalyzed
urethane, and $159.00 in lacquer, I believe. Of course you still
have to buy thinners/reducers - and catalysts if you go SS or BC/CC.
Also, you'll need a bit of flatting agent as well.

For free, here are Keith the painter's tips and suggestions. Note
that this is not rocket science, but it does require some tools, a
space, and a reasonable amount of skill.

a.) For my money, the lacquer is the best choice for this
application if you want fast dry times, a thin film, good adhesion
and probably overall a more authentic look.
b.) SS urethane is far more durable, but requires more effort and
supplies It can also poison you fairly dramatically, and it will run
the risk of excessive finish film build, too.
c.) The Enamel is just ok, and only if you can control your dust and
(like SS urethane) you don't mind blurring out the factory
alligator/crackle look a little.

Finish thickness matters because the surface you're painting has an
unique texture. As I recall, someone provided excellent information
in another thread about the TEK surface texture process that gives
the gear that unique TEK look. For my money, that's why I would
shoot lacquer as a topcoat. It will be the thinnest finish, and will
not so easily fill in and obliterate the factory crackle look -
something that enamel might do.

SHEEN: Whatever you shoot, remember you will need a little flatting
agent additive, too. TEK gear was not glossy when new. Or, you might
cheat and post-treat it when really cured by washing down with 10%
sodium hydroxide. That would probably take the sheen off without the
cost of flatting agent...or it might ruin it and make you shoot
again. :-/

PREP: Finally, I would make SURE my piece was as clean as possible.
Most people do not understand "clean" as it relates to painting what
amounts to an appliance grade finish.

1. Use an aggressive cleaner and soft bristle brush to really
eliminate the funk that has settled down in that texture pattern -
clean clean clean! This is very important for adhesion and for
pattern preservation. (If your wife will let you and the part will
fit, a dishwasher does a pretty good job at stage 1 cleaning too.)
2. I know this sounds obvious, but you must clean BOTH sides of the
part! The dust and dirt from the backside is very likely to migrate
up and ruin the top side.
3. Again, obvious - but remove mounting screws, Dzus fasterners,
handles, etc.
4. Besides a solvent wash and an aggressive cleaner like Purple to
get rid of grease and funk, I would follow up with a strong caustic
flatting treatment like Sodium Hydroxide or some other adhesion
promoter to take off the sheen off the substrate without damaging
the factory surface pattern.
5. DO NOT SAND THESE PANELS - you will ruin the
alligator/crinkle/leatherette whatever it is called surface pattern.
6. And, besides a clean paint gun or airbrush, you need a clean and
dry air supply, and a clean, dust free shooting area with proper
airflow...and don't forget to tack-cloth right before you shoot.

OK way over the top, but it will look good.

Cheers,

Keith
cbg





Kim Herron W8ZV
kim.herron@sbcglobal.net
1-616-677-3706



--
Kim Herron
W8ZV
kim dot herron at sbcglobal dot net





Tom Lee
 

I appreciate the education, Keith. I know less than nothing about these factors. I heard that there were things called “colors” but damned if I know what they are. It’s like wine — there’s red, and something else. Beyond that, I’m mystified.

— Cheers,
Tom

Sent from my iThing, so please forgive typos and brevity.

On May 25, 2021, at 4:25 PM, Keith <coolblueglow@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Kim,

Yeah, not trite at all, and definitely no offense taken on this end. :-) Thankful for everyone's work to keep this color available. More than one route to a good result for sure.

I only commented about the TCP product and color reference because I'm someone who has done quite a lot of lacquer painting over the years. I can tell you that this entire topic is a moving target. For example, getting Stan's formula at "Sherwin Williams" may or may not be practical in 2021. I hope it is still good, but I commented because in a painter's world it's always good to have options. A lot has changed since 2011 in the lacquer paint world thanks to EPA VOC limitations.

Examples;

a.) If a guy lives in Bug Tussle Mississippi or Moose Ear Minnesota, he probably doesn't have a competent Sherwin Williams store right down the street. For those folks, it sure is handy to go to a website, click a couple of buttons and have a quart of exactly the right stuff show up at your door a couple of days later, without fussing and trips to the paint store.

b.) Generically calling any old Sherwin Williams (non automotive) paint store and asking for an 11 year old formula in lacquer is a longshot, at least where I live. And if you get it, be aware that from a non-automotive coatings S/W store, that's going to be nitrocellulose lacquer - if you can get it. I could be wrong, but it may be an exercise in frustration to get Stan's formula at S/W these days. Maybe not...YMMV.

c.) Speaking of "getting lacquer", I was just at a very large brand name commercial coatings distributor just two days ago. The had literally tens of thousands of gallons of various tint bases in the house. At my request, they were searching up lacquer tint bases for a custom color I needed mixed in lacquer. This is a store where I've bought gallons and gallons of lacquer in the past. Two days ago, there were exactly three gallons of lacquer tint base in the entire facility, none of which was the correct base and sheen for my application! And I live in a state with very relaxed EPA enforcement for VOC.

d.) Flatting - Again, good point, but now that I think of it, the TCP-Global formula probably has the correct flatting agent as well. Good catch there! I mention flatting agent and Sodium Hydroxide wash since so few people who are non painters even know such a thing exists...or that there are other ways to reduce sheen.

e.) cheaper - well again, it depends on the situation. Yes, you're right... one man or woman painting one set of 547 covers probably gets by just fine and pretty cheaply with a spray bomb. Another man or woman with five or ten TEK cover sets to paint gets much better results with a professional gun and a quart of appliance lacquer from TCP (or wherever.) Just be aware that one quart of paint makes 2.5 quarts of sprayable, which works out to about $80-85 a quart including thinner. I'd guess one could paint eight to ten cover sets with an HVLP gun and a quart of sprayable. Too bad they don't sell pints or even half pints. Local automotive coatings store often do, so that's a way to save a little, if they can cross the Stan's Sherwin Williams' formula.

f.) Not all lacquers are the same. The TCP product will be acrylic lacquer, not residential (typically nitrocellulose) lacquer. Non-automotive sourced lacquers from places like Sherwin Williams, PPG Pittsburgh commercial coatings outlets are nitrocellulose lacquers. So, both are lacquers in name, but acrylic is vastly more durable than nitro. Important to compare apples to apples there.

g.) results. I promise you my $500.00 DeVilbiss HVLP gun will outshoot any $20 spray can ever invented. :-) When you have one shot to get it right, that is a comfort to me as the guy putting down the finish.

For painters, a lot depends on the relationship with their local coatings vendor. But whether Sherwin Williams, or PPG/Pittsburgh, DuPont, or any other coatings mfg., I can tell you that lacquer is becoming a bit of a dying art, and the demand is drying up for the product. :-)

Cheers to you!

Keith






 

Kieth, et al,

I appreciate the education as well. I once was a graphic artist and painter (in the fine arts sense) and have some exposure to paint chemistry and such, but that was more than 30 years ago, and I’ve forgotten most of what I knew, especially the fine points of craftsmanship. Getting schooled on these things by people with superior knowledge is EXACTLY why I posted my meager research here.

Thank you for the edifying discussion and advice.

— Jeff Dutky


 

I'd just like to add one thing. During my interest in traditional
painting I got very much into color reproduction and perception and
the theory and science behind it. There's one take away that's
important here. If two paints cure to look the same color under one
set of lights, they might well look very different under another one.
It's almost certain to be the case if the paint composition is
different, eg urethane vs nitro or any other paint technology. If you
want to compare colors, you have to compare them under a range of
lighting conditions, including:
- cold, overcast northern afternoon light
- direct summer sunlight
- direct summer sunlight, but you're in a shadow
- incandescent light, very bright
- incandescent light, dim
- medium-CRI LED light
- high-CRI LED light
- high-CRI metal halide light

That usually gives you a good feel over whether things are similar.

However... that only holds for your set of eyes. People's eyes are
different. So competent color matching requires asking a tetrachromat,
a deuteranope, etc.

And then there's aging. A different chemical make up will make the
paint age differently over the years. So it might start out looking
similar, but end up looking just wrong. And the same paint will age
differently when applied to a different base, or when exposed to
different chemicals.

That's why it's nigh on impossible to "truly match" paints... All you
can do is get the exact thing, something chemically almost exactly the
same and pray it doesn't make a difference, or you have to give up and
accept that it'll always be off.

As far as I'm concerned, paint your tek scope fire truck red, it'll
look very cool.

On Wed, May 26, 2021 at 1:34 AM Tom Lee <tomlee@ee.stanford.edu> wrote:

I appreciate the education, Keith. I know less than nothing about these factors. I heard that there were things called “colors” but damned if I know what they are. It’s like wine — there’s red, and something else. Beyond that, I’m mystified.

— Cheers,
Tom

Sent from my iThing, so please forgive typos and brevity.

On May 25, 2021, at 4:25 PM, Keith <coolblueglow@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Kim,

Yeah, not trite at all, and definitely no offense taken on this end. :-) Thankful for everyone's work to keep this color available. More than one route to a good result for sure.

I only commented about the TCP product and color reference because I'm someone who has done quite a lot of lacquer painting over the years. I can tell you that this entire topic is a moving target. For example, getting Stan's formula at "Sherwin Williams" may or may not be practical in 2021. I hope it is still good, but I commented because in a painter's world it's always good to have options. A lot has changed since 2011 in the lacquer paint world thanks to EPA VOC limitations.

Examples;

a.) If a guy lives in Bug Tussle Mississippi or Moose Ear Minnesota, he probably doesn't have a competent Sherwin Williams store right down the street. For those folks, it sure is handy to go to a website, click a couple of buttons and have a quart of exactly the right stuff show up at your door a couple of days later, without fussing and trips to the paint store.

b.) Generically calling any old Sherwin Williams (non automotive) paint store and asking for an 11 year old formula in lacquer is a longshot, at least where I live. And if you get it, be aware that from a non-automotive coatings S/W store, that's going to be nitrocellulose lacquer - if you can get it. I could be wrong, but it may be an exercise in frustration to get Stan's formula at S/W these days. Maybe not...YMMV.

c.) Speaking of "getting lacquer", I was just at a very large brand name commercial coatings distributor just two days ago. The had literally tens of thousands of gallons of various tint bases in the house. At my request, they were searching up lacquer tint bases for a custom color I needed mixed in lacquer. This is a store where I've bought gallons and gallons of lacquer in the past. Two days ago, there were exactly three gallons of lacquer tint base in the entire facility, none of which was the correct base and sheen for my application! And I live in a state with very relaxed EPA enforcement for VOC.

d.) Flatting - Again, good point, but now that I think of it, the TCP-Global formula probably has the correct flatting agent as well. Good catch there! I mention flatting agent and Sodium Hydroxide wash since so few people who are non painters even know such a thing exists...or that there are other ways to reduce sheen.

e.) cheaper - well again, it depends on the situation. Yes, you're right... one man or woman painting one set of 547 covers probably gets by just fine and pretty cheaply with a spray bomb. Another man or woman with five or ten TEK cover sets to paint gets much better results with a professional gun and a quart of appliance lacquer from TCP (or wherever.) Just be aware that one quart of paint makes 2.5 quarts of sprayable, which works out to about $80-85 a quart including thinner. I'd guess one could paint eight to ten cover sets with an HVLP gun and a quart of sprayable. Too bad they don't sell pints or even half pints. Local automotive coatings store often do, so that's a way to save a little, if they can cross the Stan's Sherwin Williams' formula.

f.) Not all lacquers are the same. The TCP product will be acrylic lacquer, not residential (typically nitrocellulose) lacquer. Non-automotive sourced lacquers from places like Sherwin Williams, PPG Pittsburgh commercial coatings outlets are nitrocellulose lacquers. So, both are lacquers in name, but acrylic is vastly more durable than nitro. Important to compare apples to apples there.

g.) results. I promise you my $500.00 DeVilbiss HVLP gun will outshoot any $20 spray can ever invented. :-) When you have one shot to get it right, that is a comfort to me as the guy putting down the finish.

For painters, a lot depends on the relationship with their local coatings vendor. But whether Sherwin Williams, or PPG/Pittsburgh, DuPont, or any other coatings mfg., I can tell you that lacquer is becoming a bit of a dying art, and the demand is drying up for the product. :-)

Cheers to you!

Keith









 

Cheater cheater,

This is an excellent point that I directly experienced trying to used the Pantone color matching app: I get completely different colors depending on lighting. Indoors, outdoors, warm, cool, direct sun, or shadow all produce different results in the Pantone capture app, sometimes wildly different. My solution was to get a color correction/white balance card so I can, at least, try to quantify the differences in lighting before I try to do a color match again.

Don’t think I have not considered repainting the scopes another color. I was thinking of black or midnight blue, but fire engine red is very appealing.

I also considered painting flames on the sides, but that seems too much like tempting fate.

— Jeff Dutky


 

Just fir the record, the main reason I’m looking into this is to repair some worn paint around the drawer on the scope mobile cart. It’s an entirely cosmetic concern, and only really worth doing if I could do it as a spot touch up (which feels like should be doable just mixing a tiny amount of paint by hand, then applying with my old Badger airbrush). I have other instruments where larger parts of the case need repainting, and those would be better served by being completely stripped and repainted. In that case getting an exact match doesn’t matter much, if at all.

— Jeff Dutky